A Short History of the World is a book written by H.G. Wells summarizing the major events of Earth's (relatively) recent past. In it, he combines evolutionary, sociological, and anthropological points of view for a unique (when it was written) historical perspective.

The author puts it best:

"THIS SHORT HISTORY OF THE WORLD is meant to be read straightforwardly almost as a novel is read. It gives in the most general way an account of our present knowledge of history, shorn of elaborations and complications. It has been amply illustrated and everything has been done to make it vivid and clear. From it the reader should be able to get that general view of history which is so necessary a framework for the study of a particular period or the history of a particular country. It may be found useful as a preparatory excursion before the reading of the author’s much fuller and more explicit Outline of History is undertaken. But its especial end is to meet the needs of the busy general reader, too driven to study the maps and time charts of that Outline in detail, who wishes to refresh and repair his faded or fragmentary conceptions of the great adventure of mankind. It is not an abstract or condensation of that former work. Within its aim the Outline admits of no further condensation. This is a much more generalized History, planned and written afresh."

--H.G. Wells

Here is the entire text:

  1. The World in Space
  2. The World in Time
  3. The Beginnings of Life
  4. The Age of Fishes
  5. The Age of The Coal Swamps
  6. The Age of Reptiles
  7. The First Birds and the First Mammals
  8. The Age of Mammals
  9. Monkeys, Apes and Sub-men
  10. The Neanderthaler and the Rhodesian Man
  11. The First True Men
  12. Primitive Thought
  13. The Beginnings of Cultivation
  14. Primitive Neolithic Civilizations
  15. Sumer, Early Egypt and Writing
  16. more to come...